Since only the Southwest Airlines VISA has an annual fee, it doesn’t cost me to keep the cards. I’ve not cancelled the unused cards because I’ve read that having a large “unused” credit card balance is good for your credit rating. I’ve no idea why the cardit cards I don’t use haven’t cancelled me for being a slacker. Maybe they hope I will suddenly come to life with a vengeance, a la Mt. St. Helens, and justify those bonus points they gave me. I don’t think so…
While checking into one of the Choice hotels last weekend, my eye caught a promo brochure for a Choice-branded VISA card. Since I’m always scouting for a points deal, I was familiar with the history of the Choice credit card program.
About a year ago, I looked into getting a Choice credit card. I figured since Choice is one of the two hotel brands I usually stay at, why not get their credit card? But I could not find anything about a credit credit on their website. That seemed very strange… I assumed every hotel chain had a credit card program.
After some serious Google searching, I learned that Choice had a credit card program at one time but ended it because it was not doing well. The program would be revised and relaunched but when that would happen was unknown.
So, I got a La Quinta cardit card instead. They gave me enough bonus points for two free nights. That’s one of the cards sitting in a drawer. (Actually, in the pocket of a piece of clothing I never wear, so if someone breaks into our house they will be unlikely to find it.)
To my consternation, within two months after I received the La Quinta card, Choice came out with their new credit card. They were also offering enough bonus points for two free nights for approved applications.
Since I had just received the La Quinta card, I passed on applying immediately. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to a seventh credit card. (Besides I might get a “bad reputation”… )
So let’s get back to my seeing the Choice credit card promo brochure at the hotel check-in counter. I assumed it was the “two free nights” offer but the hidden hand of the reward points gods pushes me to pick up the brochure. (Remember what I said in a previous post about making your own luck?)
My eyes widened as I read the details: not two free nights…it is FIVE free nights! Five! A limited time offer. Expires in early November. Automatic Gold status, which means a bonus on points and ability to book free nights further out. No annual fee either.
You know what I did… And so now I have seven reward credit cards.
After evaluating the situation, the decision became obvious. There is one card that I expect never to use: Hilton Honors. I can’t recall the last time I stayed at a Hilton property. I used to stay at Hampton Inn all the time, especially on business. But after Hampton Inn joined the Hilton chain, it became a little too aristocratic for my taste. Prices went up but it was still the Hampton Inn.
But with five free nights, I’m a happy hooker!